Dorothy Malone, Oscar-Winning Star of ‘Peyton Place’ and ‘Basic Instinct,’ Dies at 92

She won Best Supporting Actress for 1956’s “Written on the Wind”

Last Updated: January 21, 2018 @ 7:14 PM

Dorothy Malone, a Hollywood glamour queen who won a Best Supporting Actress Oscar for 1956’s “Written on the Wind,” died Friday in Dallas at age 92.

She died of natural causes, her manager Burt Shapiro told TheWrap.

Malone, who moved to television in the 1960s with the primetime soap “Peyton Place,” may be best know to modern audiences for her showy final screen role in 1992’s “Basic Instinct” as an out-of-prison murderer who befriends Sharon Stone’s character.

Born in Chicago in 1925, she grew up in Dallas and attended Southern Methodist University before she was spotted by a talent scout and signed to RKO. She appeared in a series of B movies — as well as landing small roles in major films like 1946’s “The Big Sleep” opposite Humphrey Bogart.

Her fortunes changed when she dyed her hair platinum blonde to play a boozy tramp in Douglas Sirk’s melodrama “Written on the Wind” opposite Rock Hudson and Lauren Bacall. She won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress for the role.

Malone landed better roles in the years following, appearing in “Too Much, Too Soon” with Errol Flynn, “Man of a Thousand Faces” with James Cagney and reteaming with Hudson in 1961’s “The Last Sunset.”

In the 1960s, she transitioned to television and four seasons as the matriarch of the hit ABC soap “Peyton Place.” She returned to the role in TV movie revivals in 1977 and 1985. She also had a featured role in the 1976 miniseries “Rich Man, Poor Man.”